Five-Page Previews for G.I. Joe: Cobra Special II and Hearts & Minds

Tomorrow is new comic day, and IDW is gracing us with a pair of G.I. Joe related books in the form of the second G.I. Joe: Cobra Special, this time featuring Chameleon.  The second book is the fifth issue of G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds with a look at the Cobra Trooper and G.I. Joe member Blowtorch.  Check out the five-page previews for both below.

G.I. Joe: Cobra Special #2

Mike Costa (w) • Antonio Fuso (a & c)

Her name is Chameleon, and she is the Joe’s newest recruit in COBRA II. Now we see the rest of her story—her recruitment, her first mission, and her mysterious connection to… well, you only THINK you know who we’re talking about, as Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso attempt to outdo their previous, critically celebrated Special.

This extra-length Special features an all-new G.I. Joe prose story from the upcoming G.I. Joe: The Cobra War prose anthology!

FC • 40 pages • $4.99

G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #5 (of 5)

Max Brooks (w) • Howard Chaykin, Antonio Fuso (a) • Chaykin, Fuso (c)

From Max Brooks, New York Times best-selling author of WORLD WAR Z, and masterful artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso comes the next generation of G.I. JOE and COBRA.

“We are the nameless, faceless legion, but once, we were human beings.”—COBRA RECRUITS

“I destroy darkness. I create fire.”—BLOWTORCH

*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

GeneralsJoes Reviews IDW G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #4

If folks have been reading Hearts and Minds throughout the first three issues, they pretty much know what to expect at this point.  The fourth issue is more of the same, which is good or bad, based on your perspective.

To avoid unnecessary spoilers, I will continue the review after the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below.

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Five Page previews posted for Hearts and Minds #4 and RAH #158

Last week was a down week for G.I. Joe comics from IDW, without a single title getting released, however they’re making up for it this week by releasing two books in one week.  Wednesday will see the release of G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #4 (featuring Dr. Mindbender and Doc) as well as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #158.  Check out the synopsis and 5-Page previews below.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #158

Larry Hama (w) • Agustin Padilla (a) • Padilla, Rod Whigham (c)

The scattered Joes converge at their prearranged rally point and launch their last-ditch counterattack against the forces of COBRA. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow face off, and only one of them walks away from the confrontation. Don’t miss this issue!

*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #4 (of 5)

Max Brooks (w) • Howard Chaykin, Antonio Fuso (a) • Chaykin, Fuso (c)

From Max Brooks, New York Times best-selling author of WORLD WAR Z and masterful artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso comes the next generation of G.I. JOE and COBRA.

“Only an inferior mind cowers in the shadow of morality.”—DR. MINDBENDER

“Time cannot heal all wounds, and neither can I.”—DOC

*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

IDW G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #2 Reviewed

I figured a good return to the update pool would be a review of a very understated, yet fantastic read, G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds #2.  As with issue #1, written by Max Brooks with art chores shared by Howard Chaykin (Firefly half) and Antonio Fuso (Tripwire half), the lack of action and “snazz” is almost palpable.  You can tell this was meant to be written from a strictly “prose” perspective, and it dives deeply into the characters that make up the G.I. Joe mythology.

Of course, it’s a bit of a double edged sword, because we’re focusing on these characters from the IDW universe, which doesn’t really tie in to the existing Real American Hero mythology, but it still provides some very cool insight “behind the mask” so to speak.  To avoid spoilers, I’ve placed the actual review after the jump.

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G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #1 Reviewed

Tomorrow, IDW releases the first issue of their latest G.I. Joe series, Hearts and Minds.  Written by nationally acclaimed author Max Brooks (best selling author of World War Z) and using Howard Chaykin (Major Bludd) and Antonio Fuso (Spirit) on the art duties, IDW promises a more introspective look at the characters deeply rooted in the G.I. Joe mythology.

Brooks eschews action for a more solemn, personal look at Major Bludd and Spirit, really digging into their personalities and character.

In all fairness, I can see some readers getting at least a bit irked at this premise.  In the first issue, we get a lot of text, a lot of detail, and not a whole lot of action to speak of.  But the great thing is, the dialog and plot are so seamless and fun to read the lack of action does not seem glaring at all.

Brooks draws some very interesting perspective on Spirit especially, likening his heightened senses to a genetic disorder (sensory integration dysfunction) which gives him extremely sensitive senses and makes him a perfect tracker.  It’s amazing, with only about twelve pages to tell a story, Brooks weaves a fascinating history of G.I. Joe’s infamous Native American character.

With a few neat twists and turns, even in a non-action packed story, Max Brooks has told an in depth and amazing tale with a very small canvas to work with.  It makes me very excited to see what else Mr. Brooks has planned for us.

G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds Previews posted online

On the eve of the next upcoming IDW G.I. Joe limited series, G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds, a couple of sites have posted various previews for pages of the upcoming book.  iFanboy has posted a very in depth preview featuring many pages of the Major Bludd side of the story, while Newsarama has posted a very nice five-page preview featuring pages from the Spirit side of the story.

Check them out mirrored below.  This great looking limited series will hit comic stores tomorrow.

iFanboy

Newsarama

G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds is written by best selling author Max Brooks and drawn by comics legend Howard Chaykin, and hits comic stores tomorrow!  I’m looking forward to it.

USA Today interviews Max Brooks about Hearts and Minds

Sometimes it’s good having geeks in the right places…  Brian Truitt at USA Today is an unabashed toy, comic, and media geek, and as such, gets some great opportunities to interview folks connected to those properties and share them with us!

Over on USA Today, Mr. Truitt has posted a great interview with Max Brooks, who  talks quite a bit about G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds the new limited series he’s writing for IDW.  The interview is littered with great insight and information, and even discusses some characters from Hearts and Minds:

“Some choices have been controversial, he says. At first, Brooks couldn’t use Major Bludd (because he’s starring in a subplot in Chuck Dixon’s G.I. Joe book) or Spirit. “I think they were afraid of coming from a point of view of the standard stereotypical Indian,” Brook says. “That’s actually what piqued my interest, when they said Hasbro doesn’t want to offend people. It was barely passable in the ’80s, and is just not acceptable now.”

In subsequent issues, Brooks has a Blowtorch story that discusses whether using fire is a humane form of warfare, and a tale about explosives expert Tripwire, “who doesn’t have a death wish but is in a situation where he can’t lose — that’s how he looks at it,” Brooks says. “The character of Doc deals with an issue of medical malpractice, which hits very close to home. With Dr. Mindbender, instead of making him the traditional mad scientist, I wanted to deal with the issue of religion vs. science and ethics vs. science.”

The interview also reveals that Max Brooks was a Joe fan as a kid, and that he contributed a short story to a collection of G.I. Joe related prose that is possibly in the works.  Check out the full interview right here, and be sure to add Brian Truitt’s Twitter Page to your favorites and follow him!

IDW G.I. Joe Hearts & Minds info from WonderCon

Comic Book Resources has been onsite for Wondercon 2010, and posted some news on the IDW Panel that happened yesterday.  There wasn’t a wealth of G.I. Joe news, but Max Brooks was on hand to talk a little bit about Hearts and Minds, a limited series focusing on some Cobra and Joe characters in the new Joe universe:

“Brooks, the writer of “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z,” talked about “G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds,” a five-issue miniseries he’s doing with artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso.

“Basically what I wanted to do was not do a linear story, but take a step back and examine the lives of certain Joe characters and certain Cobra characters,” Brooks said. Each issue will be divided into two stories – one about a Joe and one about a member of Cobra. Characters he’ll focus on include Major Bludd, Doc, Spirit, Blowtorch, Deep Six, Dr. Mindbender and a regular Cobra recruit.

“What would make someone join Cobra?” Brooks said, adding that he wanted to make them real terrorists. “I try to infuse mine with as much reality as Hasbro would let me get away with. And they let me get away with a lot.”

Brooks noted he grew up in the Reagan-era 1980s, a time of “harmless violence.” He said “G.I Joe” was perfect for that.

“There were a lot of lasers, a lot of explosions, but nobody ever died,” brooks said about the “G.I. Joe” cartoon. “A character named Roadblock used to rhyme his words, which they’re not doing anymore, thank God. But you kind of can’t do that anymore. Because America’s different. The times are different. We’re not only at war, but we’re in two separate wars. So you can’t do harmless violence.” Some of the issues he’ll tackle include medical malpractice, human evolution, science vs. religion and child development and sensory integration disorders.”

Sounds like an interesting experiment, and very cool to see a credible writer taking on some G.I. Joe duties.  Looking forward to reading it.